I’m getting sober (again) (finally) (sorry)
A little update on what I've been up to for the last four months. Spoiler alert: I haven't been exhibiting the most reputable behavior. Sorry. Weekly-ish articles coming soon.
Hey folks, how’s it going? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Wow! 4 months, a third of a year just flew by! Huh huh huh!
What have you been up to? Wow, that’s interesting. Me? Oh, I’ve just been living in a personal hell of my own creation. Wanna hear about it? OK!
Come on, vámonos
Everybody, let's go
Come on, let's get to it
I know that we can do it
Where are we going?
I don’t even know, man.
Where are we going?
… Sometimes it just feels like life is a meaningless trudge through hell.
Where are we going?
…Like, we’re all just a bunch of pigs flopping around in our own shit.
Where are we going?
Fucking… Grandma’s house!
Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer!
I’m at a crossroads in life. It’s not my first time staring down this fork in the road and it probably won’t be my last. Every day, I’m faced with a choice between change and complacency. Normally, I choose the latter.
In my defense, my life hasn’t exactly been easy. I’m bipolar. I’m an addict. I broke my neck five years ago. There’s a wild man-eating clam in my backyard. I have a hard enough time getting out of bed in the morning, let alone becoming a fully-optimized, alpha grindset GigaChad.
Everybody gives you the same advice.
“Get sober! Go to therapy! Eat right! Exercise! Hoard guns! Don’t get vaccinated! Store two years’ worth of non-perishable foods in a bunker in your backyard.”
People act like life is so simple, like I’m a bottle of Super Male Vitality and a Peloton Bike away from enlightenment.
Should I do healthy things for myself? Sure, yeah, I guess, but it’s a lot easier said than done when your brain is a tornado of flying monkeys.
I actually got sober for a year back in 2021. I ran a couple of 5Ks. Lost 50 pounds. I went back to therapy. Started going to meetings. I did everything everyone told me to do and it fucking sucked. I was so miserable, I had a mental breakdown, quit my job and spent a week in the mental hospital.
There’s this myth out there that getting sober solves all your problems. It doesn’t, especially if the mental scaffolding of addiction still exists. Fighting addiction is like playing whack-a-mole. Just when you think you have the thing cornered, it disappears and then reappears behind you with an axe. You stop drinking, you start smoking. You stop smoking, you start doing edibles. You stop doing edibles, you start getting really into goon porn. There’s no escaping it.
Even if you do manage to quit everything cold turkey, even if you just sit there in an empty room and stare at the wall, your new addiction becomes negativity— beating yourself up, wondering why you can’t just be happy and have a normal life like everyone else.
I tried going to therapy, but what you realize is that none of these people have any idea how to help you. How could they? You literally just met. Sure, they can read you a few coping mechanisms out of a cognitive behavioral therapy textbook, but a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work on something as unique as the human brain.
My week’s stay in crazy college did more to traumatize me than cure me, so I decided, fuck it— I’m going back to my old ways. Take the plywood off the windows and let the zombies in, I don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m tired of fighting the good fight.
I made a vow to start doing stand-up again in January. I think part of the reason I went crazy is that I stopped hanging out with people, so I decided to make up for lost time by getting black-out drunk at open mics. I missed my friends. I missed talking shit in the back of the room. I missed being rewarded for my narcissism.
It was fun, for a while. I got to open for Kurt Metzger at the Comedy Cabin in Janesville. Jason Bermas was there, one of the guys who made the 9/11 truther documentary “Loose Change.” The three of us smoked a joint in the parking lot. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.
But like I’ve said before, alcoholism is a progressive disease. I don’t mean, like, it’s trying to brainwash your kids into becoming trans… I mean it grows on you— like an inoperable cyst or Fergie’s sex appeal.
A night that starts out with a couple-two-tree beers, ends with you throwing a bottle of piss out the window at the Taco Bell drive-thru.
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I recently came to the realization that I need to get sober again. Not because of the piss bottle incident, I still think that’s a solid bit.
I just feel spiritually broken. I thought getting back into stand-up would cure my existential dread, but I’m quickly realizing that basing your entire identity on whether or not you can make a room full of 50-year-old drunk boomers laugh is not the most spiritually fulfilling way to live your life.
As my enthusiasm for stand-up waned, the substance abuse increased to compensate for the fact that deep down, I really just didn’t want to fucking be there. My sets started to suffer because people aren't stupid. They can tell when you’re being propped up by chemicals. They can see it in the bags under your eyes, the flushness of your cheeks and the forced creases of your fake smile. There’s nothing funny about that. It’s just sad.
Abby and I were driving to a restaurant recently.
“I just wish a therapist would tell me exactly what’s wrong with me,” I said. I really know how to set the mood for date night.
“I can tell you what your problem is,” Abby said. I was intrigued.
“OK, what’s my problem?”
“Your problem is that your happiness always depends on something outside of yourself.”
Fuck. She’s right. The substances, the creative projects— every time I feel the itch of unhappiness, I reach for something. When I’m tired, I reach for coffee. When I’m depressed, it’s booze. When I’m bored, I take an edible. When I start to feel faded from the drugs and alcohol, I have a cigarette or a nicotine pouch to bring me back up to zero. Toss in a couple of psychiatric medications and you’ve got yourself less of a man and more of a walking concoction of chemicals fighting it out like Super Smash Brothers Melee.
And then, after a two-week bender leaves me spiritually broken, I’ll come up with a new creative project to sink my teeth into— a new TikTok account, YouTube channel or podcast with my ex-girlfriend. It’s the same pattern, over and over again.
Every time I run up against that wall of existential dread, I look for something outside myself for hope, escape or respite. All this chasing creates a disconnect between who I am and who I think I have to be in order to be happy. In my effort to escape the pain, I’m inadvertently creating more of it.
I don’t even know what I want anymore. I don’t even know who I am. I’m just a mouse in a field, chasing pleasure and running from pain. I’m Eddy from Ed, Edd and Eddy, coming up with a new scam every day, just chasing jawbreakers.
Sometimes I wonder: If I was completely content in life, if I had all the money and freedom in the world, how would I spend my time? If I had nothing to chase or run from, where would I wander?
I don’t even want to be happy anymore. I’ve given up on that idea. I just want peace. I just want to hang out with my wife, play with my dog, write my gay little blog posts and be left alone. I’m done chasing jawbreakers. I’m starting over. Again.
I don’t really have a plan. But I think that’s OK. You don’t need a plan to know that your current plan isn’t working. At any moment in life, you can just hit the fucking circle button and rip a sick fucking spin move. You don’t need to write a whole fucking manifesto about it and post it on the fucking internet, you can just make better choices, man.
Alright, that’s the end of the article. Bye.
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